Great-gran taken to A&E on bin lid as she 'wasn't eligible' for ambulance

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Pamela Rolfe, was taken to hospital by van after breaking her hip (Image: Dawn Hamilton / SWNS)
Pamela Rolfe, was taken to hospital by van after breaking her hip (Image: Dawn Hamilton / SWNS)

A great-gran was taken to hospital on a grit bin lid because she 'wasn't eligible' for ambulance.

Pamela Rolfe was walking her dog when she fell and passersby helped keep her warm by putting a duvet over her.

As the weather became windy and rainy her daughter Dawn Hamilton phoned to see where the ambulance was and was told 'due to the current crisis at the moment she doesn't qualify for an ambulance'.

Dawn's partner had recently rented a white van and they looked for an ironing board to place Pamela on, but instead removed the lid of a gritter box.

Great-gran taken to A&E on bin lid as she 'wasn't eligible' for ambulance rridqqieqiqerinvPamela Rolfe who was taken to hospital by van after breaking her hip (Dawn Hamilton / SWNS)

The 79-year-old from Johnstown, Wrexham, is now in a wheelchair with no idea when she will be discharged from Wrexham Maelor Hospital, North Wales.

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A 93-year-old woman in the same ward, who broke her hip at home, waited more than 33 hours for an ambulance.

Pamela's daughter Dawn, 58, a self-employed carer said: "My mum fell at 11am, due to us doing our own ambulance service she was in a bed by 7pm.

"I got there around 12.30pm and she was all covered up in a duvet.

"It was starting to rain and it was cold and windy.

"I called the ambulance service for an update and was told 'due to the current crisis at the moment she doesn't qualify for an ambulance'.

"One of the first rules is not to move someone.

"A man in the park said someone had died on the floor waiting for an ambulance recently.

Great-gran taken to A&E on bin lid as she 'wasn't eligible' for ambulanceGreat-grandma Pamela Rolfe was taken to hospital by van (Dawn Hamilton / SWNS)

"My partner had hired a white van, we were looking for an ironing board to support my mum's leg.

"A neighbour ripped the lid off a gritting container and put it under my mum.

"We drove to where the ambulances were in A&E and a paramedic who is also a neighbour helped put her on a trolley.

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"She got through straight away and had an operation the next day.

"I couldn't believe A&E, there were queues outside the door.

"We were told someone was in an ambulance for 24 hours.

"If my mum had got in an ambulance she would have been stuck outside A&E, she could be dead.

"She's 80 this month, it was in a park, it was exposed, it was windy and starting to rain - if she had fallen inside there would have been pain management but she would have been warm.

Great-gran taken to A&E on bin lid as she 'wasn't eligible' for ambulanceGreat-grandma Pamela Rolfe was walking her dog when she fell and hurt herself (Dawn Hamilton / SWNS)

"Once we were in, the nurses were fantastic, so were the paramedics who helped get her on a trolley.

"There was a 93-year-old lady in the bed opposite, her son said she fell in her house and broke her hip, they gave up counting after 33 hours of waiting for an ambulance.

"There's surgeries in Wrexham which are telling people 'go to A&E'.

"I keep saying to her 'you don't realise how lucky you were'.

"Just having the van, it was the luck of god that we had a van.

"The hospital staff were lovely but they are rushed off their feet."

Dr Nick Lyons, Interim Deputy CEO and executive medical director at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said: “I’m pleased this patient was admitted quickly and I wish her well in her recovery.

“We are seeing a very high volume of patients being admitted to our hospitals with flu and COVID-19, which currently represents 17% of patients, as well as an increase in the most seriously injured or unwell patients requiring emergency care.

“There remain challenges around discharging patients from hospital to suitable accommodation or care services and patients who are medically fit for discharge represent 15% of our patient population.

"This does impact flow through the entire hospital system and our ability to bring patients into and through the Emergency Department in a timely manner."

Sarah Ward

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